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Europa Exploration Concept

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Europa Exploration Concept

by NASA

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Almost 30 years ago, NASA's Voyagers 1 and 2 (lower left) made their historic rendezvous with the Jupiter system and first revealed Europa's icy-covered surface. In 1995, the Galileo spacecraft entered orbit about Jupiter, and for years studied the giant planet and its major moons. From this mission we learned that Europa is a world covered with a global ocean about 100 kilometers (60 miles) deep, and that this ocean was capped, liked Earth's Arctic Ocean, with a shell of solid ice. To learn more about the ocean and the ice shell above, and especially to investigate the ocean's suitability to sustain life, will require the next step, a future mission dedicated to exploring Europa from orbit about the moon itself (center). Both NASA and the European Space Agency are actively studying the possibility of launching such a mission in the next 10 years. If a mission is launched, depending on what is found, future missions to Europa might involve landers or even autonomous vehicles, called cryobots (upper right), that melt through the ice to explore the ocean below, perhaps sometime later in this century. Credit: NASA/JPL


Mediatype image
Insightuid nasaNAS~20~20~120886~227588
Source http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/display.cfm?IM_ID=5863
Date 0000
What Jupiter
What Galileo
What Europa
What Moon
Where Arctic Ocean
Identifier SPD-SLRSY-5863
Addeddate 2009-09-17 22:43:57
Publicdate 2009-09-17 23:42:28
Creator NASA
Backup_location ia903603_32

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